mountaineering courses in NZIntermediate to Advanced climbing Course - Total Alpinism

Learn the latest and/or refresh your mountaineering, rock and ice climbing skills and knowledge on an Alpinism and Ski intermediate to advanced climbing course in New Zealand.


About our intermediate to advanced alpine climbing instruction courses

The Total Alpinism course is aimed at alpinists and climbers who want to learn/improve their technical mountaineering skills to attempt the huge array of peaks of New Zealand's Southern Alps and/or the greater ranges of the world. It covers some alpine rock skills but is geared towards snow and ice, which New Zealand is renowned for.

This course will be run either in Mount Cook, Westland or Mt Aspiring Nat. Parks, depending on prevailing weather systems and conditions. All these mountaineering areas are ideal venues for a technical mountaineering course in rugged but beautiful glaciated terrain; with excellent training peaks for participants to apply their skills, under the watchful eye of their expert mountain guide.

Some skills and knowledge are particular to the New Zealand mountains but most are applicable to any mountain range/terrain in the world. You will be taught to the latest international standards.

Intermediate to Advanced Climbing Course Objectives

  • ice climbing, alpine rock climbing
  • anchor selection, placement and set up
  • intermediate-advanced crampon techniques
  • equipment selection
  • route planning and mountain weather
  • glacier travel
  • crevasse rescue - mechanical advantage systems
  • rock rescue
  • rope handling, abseiling, belaying, knots
  • climbing roped up - moving together on runners/ridge travel
  • avalanche awareness


A previous background of rock climbing, trekking or a beginners/basic climbing course is desirable, as is a good level of fitness for the week.

Logistics for our Total Alpinism courses

1 person 2 people 3 people 4 people
$5900 $3530 pp $2800 pp $2475 pp
Length of trip: 7 days
Season November-April
Location Alpine glacial setting eg Fox or Franz neve, Mt Aspiring or Mt Cook climbing region. This will depend on weather and conditions at the time of the course.
Transport: Drive to Fox glacier or Mt Cook village, fly to hut. Fly out of venue. Return drive to Wanaka.
Price Includes: Guiding fee, hut fees, local accommodation, GST of 15 %, party technical equipment e.g. rope, stove, fuel, ground transport, food
Price doesn't include: Personal clothing and equipment, flights in and out of mountains, personal rental equipment. More about flights

contact us anytime: e-mail please

In need of a top notch mountaineering and alpine climbing instructor to persue your dreams?

available again for NZ summer season 2020-21

presently it's ski touring time

look no further, mountain guide Gaz will deliver

just get in touch to help you organise a course tailor made for you

All instruction courses in NZ with Gary Dickson, IFMGA/NZMGA mountain guide, are now in collaboration with

Alpine Guides (Aoraki) Ltd.

Bookings will go through their office and will be subject to their booking conditions. Trips with Gary will be run as per AGL's concession and safety management system requirements.

Pre-trip information and discussions are available from us anytime.


Our Instruction Clients on Total Alpinism Courses say:

"Thank you for everything: for great hospitality; for good food; for hitching us a lift on a helicopter; for making us jump off a cliff; for taking the piss eternally for a couple of minor slips (who needs ice screws and belay plates anyway?!?); for putting up with Rob's failure to grasp the two of spades; for clear, helpful hints guiding and instruction wise; and for making us think 7 no trumps, not 6 spades!

Seriously though... it's been a great six days. The choice of location was top notch, the cooking was cracking, the routes you picked were brilliant and it was a great laugh to learn from you - a good combination of clear instruction, deep patience and taking the piss when appropriate! You both made our time in NZ very, very memorable. Thanks a million and best wishes".

Lorna & Rob, UK

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Mountain guide


Alpinism & Ski Ltd, Wanaka, New Zealand :: Ph 027 229 5534 :: e-mail: info@alpinismski.co.nz